A Typical Lunchtime Visit
A standard visit to Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham at lunchtime today threw up plenty of birds, but no surprises. It was sunny and clear but not cold. I parked at the top of the lane as usual, then pottered down the lane and along to the hide. I heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker as I approached the hide, and a small party of Long-tailed Tits were feeding in the copse surrounding the hide. Settling myself down I scanned over the reserve. As usual there were loads of Wigeon and Teal feeding across the meadow. A Little Grebe was on the main pool, whilst 2 Greylag Geese were in the Canada flock. Only 3 Pintail could be found and 5 Common Snipe. There plenty of Lapwings there but only 10 Golden Plover. 4 Pochard were diving on the main pool. A Buzzard and a Kestrel were also seen from the hide.
Leaving the hide I ambled along the lane, seeing a Common Chiffchaff in the laneside hedge, and turned left through the old iron gates and tried to keep out of the mud along the track to the viewing platform. Several Goldfinches were present as usual. Suddenly I realised a Kingfisher was flying towards me. However it was flying slowly, with little flaps of its wings - most unusual. It flew leisurely across the field and dropped in to Riversmeet wood in no hurry at all and seemingly without a care in the world! It had passed within 5 feet of me before veering off across the field. From the platform itself there were the usual Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Common Redshank and Grey Plover.